“Linderman Library houses an impressive collection of rare books including Darwin’s Origin of Species and James John Audubon’s four volume elephant folio edition of Birds of America.”
Linderman Library - Bethlehem, PA
According to the Lehigh University Library Services, Linderman Library was funded in 1873 by Lehigh’s founder Asa Packer, following the death of his daughter Lucy Packer Linderman. The library, which was built to serve as a memory to his late daughter, officially opened in April 1878. Packer believed Lehigh needed a single library to merge all of the departments’ collections, and his funding for Linderman was the single largest monetary gift of his lifetime. Linderman Library houses books and journals in the humanities and Lehigh’s impressive collection of rare books including Darwin’s Origin of Species and James John Audubon’s four volume elephant folio edition of Birds of America. Twelve digital library projects highlight various aspects of the collection, ranging from “Digital Bridges” (books on 19th century bridge construction) to “Beyond Steel” (materials examining the social and cultural impact of the Lehigh Valley’s industrial past).
Special Collections holds a rare book collection of over 40,000 volumes, with first editions of English and American literature from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Other strengths are in travel and exploration, natural history and ornithology, and works of historical significance in science and technology. The Lehigh University archives contains documents, photographs and publications of the University, papers of faculty members, and Lehigh memorabilia. Special Collections is also the repository for Lehigh theses and dissertations and over 15,000 photographic images.
~ Helen Marie Rivera